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New mural reflects Hastings’ cultural diversity

HSC mural

A new mural celebrating Hastings’ local cultures and communities has been completed, bringing life to a wall beside the Hastings Sports Centre on Railway Rd.

Called the Connected Communities Wellbeing Wall, its design was the result of collaboration between representatives of a range of multicultural community groups in Hastings.

Hastings Sports Centre kaiwhakahaere Fiona Devonshire was involved in the design process and said workshops were held over five months to explore what “wellbeing” meant to the participants.

Workshop attendees included people from Filipino, Kiribas, Samoan, Punjabi, Bangladeshi, Nepali, Indonesian, Chinese, Somalian, Rawandan, Turkish, Swiss, British, Pākeha and Māori communities, who also represented a range of faiths.

“The facilitated workshops allowed people to share their stories and think about what wellbeing is via Sir Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā model that encompasses physical, mental, whānau and spiritual wellness.

“The participants enjoyed sharing their stories and the feeling of connection that came about as a result.”

Arts. Inc Heretaunga co-ordinated the project and manager community arts development Pitsch Leiser said Hastings’ cultural diversity was a real strength.

“It supports our community on multiple levels, bringing much-needed skills, new perspectives, and the drive of our migrant communities to not only succeed economically in their adopted home but to thrive as individuals and families and communities.

“To reflect our community make-up in public spaces is a real acknowledgement and celebration of the important contributions each and every one brings to our city.”  

The ideas and feedback that were inspired by the workshops were then woven together by local migrant artist Dali Susanto, who was born in Indonesia and has lived in Aotearoa New Zealand since 2007, to create the final mural.

Hastings District Council great communities subcommittee chair Eileen Lawson said the mural on the 20-metre wide by four-metre high wall was a striking representation of the district’s diverse communities.

“One of the goals in our Multicultural Strategy 2020-2025 was that Hastings district is a welcoming, inclusive and safe place for all.

“This included supporting people of all cultures and backgrounds to feel welcome and for their identity to be respected, and to have public spaces that reflect the diverse cultures that live here.

“This mural is a wonderful, creative example of that diversity that everyone can enjoy and feel proud of.”

This project was supported by funding received from the Ministry of Ethnic Communities.


17 February 2022

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